I guess when you are talking about big government, it depends on what type of big government you’re talking about. Because both sides of the ideological isles let’s say have different versions of what actually is big government. And in some cases both wings have different versions of what big government is among themselves. The Religious-Right and Libertarian Right on the right-wing, perfect example of that and of course the. Socialist Left and Liberal Left on the left-wing, but since this article is how government relates to the economy, I’ll start with that and then go from there.
If big government is so bad for the economy, first of all anyone who believes that should first give their own definition of big government. Because compared with the rest of the developed world the U.S. Government is pretty small. Perhaps only Switzerland and Canada have smaller federal governments than we do. But even if you go by American historical standards, the United States has had a safety net for now eighty years. Which is one-third of our history as a country, but if you compare where we were as an economy pre-1933 lets say, we are much better off now than we were eighty-years ago.
And that includes things like the income tax, the Federal Reserve and the payroll tax. Plus the business regulations of the Progressive Era, we are now the economic power of the world with the largest economy in the world. As well as the military power of the world and thanks to the Federal Highway System we now have one of the best infrastructure systems in the world as well that we didn’t have eighty years ago. And the Federal Government has played a big role in this economic development.
Do we really want to go back to a time when seniors had to live off their kids who had their own bills to pay because so many seniors in this country didn’t have a pension or a pension big enough to pay their bills? Or back to a time with slave-wages and unsafe working conditions, because this part of the small government legacy of America that a majority of Americans do not want to see again. Plus America is not some socialist state or republic and we do not expect government to do everything for us anyway as a country.
And again our Federal Government is roughly half that of the European Union and United Kingdom or Scandinavia. And we won’t become a country at least in the near-future that has some type of welfare state that tries to make most of the economic and personal decisions of the entire country. Which is what you see in Europe at least in some cases. Again as I stated before it depends on the meaning of big government. I’m not in favor of big government or small government, but a good government that is limited and does the things that we need done as a country that government happens to be most qualified to do whatever the level of government is.
And big government at least to me and a lot of other Americans is government trying to do too much with the people’s money that people can do for themselves. And are better off doing for themselves and in some cases our government is too big. And one of reasons for the waste and lack of accountability in it. But you are going to have a hard time finding a large percentage of Americans who want to go back to 1930, or bring the European Socialist welfare state to this country.